DEVELOPMENTS BY SCOTTISH WATER
54. Proposals for strategic infrastructure such as service reservoirs, waste water treatment works, water impounding reservoirs and some SuDS require planning consent and in some cases an environmental assessment under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999. However, much local infrastructure, such as pipes and pumping stations below the ground, control kiosks and new equipment within a water treatment works, constitute permitted development under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992, as amended, and no planning permission is required.
55. The upgrading of existing assets is often preferable to the provision of new strategic infrastructure where an increase in capacity is required. Where new infrastructure is required, careful site selection will be necessary, especially for developments in sensitive locations such as coastal areas. It is important that Scottish Water and planning authorities work together and consult other stakeholders including SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Scotland and community councils to identify appropriate sites in development plans to meet strategic infrastructure requirements but which minimise environmental impacts. Where possible and thought necessary, sites should be large enough to accommodate future expansion of these assets. The Code of Practice on Assessment and Control of Odour Nuisance from Waste Water Treatment Works 9 provides a framework within which Scottish Water and its contractors, other operators and local authorities can operate to minimise the impacts of odours from facilities and identify steps to tackle odours of a significant nature.
56. Even when sites are not allocated, pre-application discussions should assist in determining whether infrastructure proposals are in accordance with the development plan. This will help to avoid conflicts late in the process, which can delay the provision of essential strategic infrastructure. Where appropriate Scottish Water will engage with local communities with a view to finding an acceptable and economically viable solution.